The Dark Green Line A Journey to Moorfields Eye Hospital By Michael GOldrei

Old Street Tube Station

Not everyone notices it, but leading from Old Street tube station is a dark green painted line.

Old Street Tube Station

The line is there to lead patients with poor eyesight to nearby Moorfields Eye Hospital.

City Road

I followed it so that I could photograph some of those patients, as well as people who work there, and speak with them about their experiences of darkness and light.

Khan (left) and Islam (right), Patient Transporters

"We’re 'Patient Transporters'. They also call us a 'Caring Driver' or something"

"A lot of patients say it's the most wonderful thing once they get better - being in the dark is one of the worst things that can happen to you."

"People who are partially blind seem more frustrated than the fully-blind patients"

Robin, Retired Kennel Worker

"It's a pain in the backside"

"You lose one thing and gain something else. I have better vision now in this [right] eye. And I think my hearing has improved. I'm still deaf when someone says 'it's your round" though."

Jeanette, Patient Transport Driver

"They [the patients] hate it as they've lost their independence and their social life. They miss their driving after having to surrender their license. They cope with this in their own way."

"One minute things are clear and they can see something and the next minute it goes black. Things can go from light to compete darkness for them."

Samuel, Ex-Mechanic

"I was working as a mechanic and a piece of metal went in there."

"If I'm watching TV, or there's too much flashing, like the ambulance that just went past, I have to close my eye."

"I still do some mechanic work for family or friends, but sometimes I have flashbacks."

Gordon, Retired Gardener

"I see doubles. What happened was, acid went into my eyes."

"I'm not worrying myself though as I'm retired!"

"The only thing that happens is that I can't read properly. It goes funny. I can't walk around as I like. I can't concentrate on anything as everything goes double. I can't watch television for too long as after 5 or 10 minutes I see two televisions!"

Janet, Retired English Teacher and Grandmother

"I just had my cataracts done 6 weeks ago. I came back today as I've started seeing a flashing light, like fireworks. The world is so bright today, not just because of the sun because the cataracts have opened things up."

"It's a complete riot of colour looking at these flowers - they're beautiful! Lovely lovely colours - it's so nice to have this done on the NHS."

"[When having a cataract operation] people say blue looks different. I looked at the sea the other day and you see levels and depths to the colour that other people don't see"

Urbain, Ex-Recycling Plant Worker

"I had an accident at work. I was working on the recycling belt and something went into my eye."

"I was discharged today. I'm glad as I'm fed up of coming coming here because of the waiting time."

All text and photos © Michael Goldrei 2016

Email: info@microsketch.com

Created By
Michael Goldrei
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(c) Michael Goldrei, 2016

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